Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy left the broadcast booth last August after his son was charged with murder, but he announced today that he will return for the 2014 season.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Remy spoke for about 30 minutes this afternoon in front of a small group of reporters and admitted that he was leaning toward not returning until recently. However, the support from his family and friends and a clean bill of health were motivators for him to rejoin play-by-play man Don Orsillo.
Here’s part of his statement from this afternoon:
“Right around the turn of the year, after a miserable holiday season, that baseball clock clicks in a little bit, and people reminded me — my inner circle of friends and my wife — about my career and where it came from and where it is. I got drafted as a baseball player. I got drafted last and made it to the big leagues. I wanted to quit. My father talked me out of it. I made it to the big leagues. When I started this job — awful. I was terrible. I couldn’t wait for the first season to be over because I wanted out. I didn’t quit. I continued on for 26 years. When I got cancer, I wanted to quit. I didn’t. It threw me into a depression. I came back. I continued on. Some of these things started to resonate a little bit with me. I’ve never been a quitter, and I don’t intend to be one now. I’ve been in professional baseball in some capacity for 40 years. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. It’s where my comfort level is. It’s where I feel I belong and where I feel that I’m going to continue to do so for as long as possible.”
Remy’s son, Jared, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel. The trial is set for October 7.
In addition to announcing his return today, Remy passed along his deepest sympathies to the Martel family. He and his wife have filed have filed for custody of Jared and Jennifer’s daughter along with two other parties, including the Martels.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.